May 27, 2021

Winnipeg, Man. — APTN is pleased to announce that applications for the Indigenous Music Accelerator (IMA), presented by RBCxMusic, are now open. This new mentorship program will support First Nations, Inuit and Métis musicians actively working in the music industry who are looking to take their career to the next level.

Applications for the program will be accepted until July 15, 2021. Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI) will administer the program and work with APTN to select seven Indigenous musicians from across Canada who represent diverse music genres and styles. Applicants will have the opportunity to identify their desired areas of development in their application.

Successful applicants will receive: guidance on business/career development and opportunities to participate in personal and professional workshops, one-on-one meetings with some of Canada’s top music industry professionals, and photo and video shoots in Toronto.

CMI will deliver the program in two parts. Virtual professional development workshops will be held Oct. 4–8, 2021 and the in-person photo and video shoots will take place in spring/summer 2022 in Toronto (COVID-19 restrictions permitting). Travel, accommodations and per diems are included in the program.

RBC’s support for the IMA is part of the company’s broader dedication and commitment to the arts, demonstrated through RBCxMusic and the RBC Emerging Artists Project. Since 2015, over 24,000 alumni have been supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project through RBC Foundation donations benefiting hundreds of arts organizations across Canada, totaling more than $8 million annually.

“Getting ahead in the music industry has always been challenging, especially for Indigenous artists. COVID-19 has compounded those challenges by eliminating opportunities for live performances, and traditional audience exposure,” said Mark Beckles, Vice-President, Social Impact and Innovation at RBC. “Indigenous musicians across Canada continue to inspire us with their creativity, resilience, and commitment to their craft. We are proud to support them through the Indigenous Music Accelerator — and look forward to seeing the advancement of their music careers in the years ahead.”

The IMA is an evolution of APTN Indigenous Day Live’s Music Incubator program, continuing APTN’s long history of supporting the creation of music as a unique reflection of Indigenous cultures.

In 2019, APTN released the National Indigenous Music Impact Study (NIMIS), which featured the voices of several Indigenous musicians. In the report, “many musicians point to the value of mentors, and the importance of seeking and taking advice, as reasons for their success.” The IMA will provide access to the benefits of mentorship.

APTN is grateful for the opportunity to partner with RBCxMusic.

“The Indigenous music industry has incredible talent from all genres of music that can reach a greater audience. The Indigenous Music Accelerator can help our artists gain more exposure and provide support in their path to success,” said Monika Ille, APTN’s CEO.

Successful applicants will be announced in early September 2021. To meet eligibility requirements, applicants must:

  • Be 18 years of age or over;
  • Have released music (album, EP or single) in the past two years;
  • Be planning to release new music in the next 12 to 16 months;
  • Be able to demonstrate a history of performing original live music;
  • Currently have an active website and/or social media presence;
  • Be able to clearly articulate their goals around business and creative development;
  • Identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit or Métis);
  • Be a Canadian citizen;
  • Have access to reliable, high-speed internet;
  • Be able to travel to Toronto in spring or summer 2022 (COVID-19 restrictions permitting).

For full eligibility details and the applicant questionnaire, visit Please note that CMI and APTN will be unable to provide critiques to unsuccessful applications.



APTN launched in 1999 as the world’s first national Indigenous broadcaster, creating a window into the remarkably diverse mosaic of Indigenous Peoples. A respected non-profit and charitable broadcaster, it’s the only one of its kind in North America. The network is Sharing Our Stories of authenticity in English, French and a variety of Indigenous languages to over 10 million Canadian subscribers. With over 80% Canadian content, APTN connects with its audiences through genuine, inspiring and engaging entertainment on multiple platforms.

For further information about the Indigenous Music Accelerator Program and APTN, contact:

Emili Bellefleur
Manager of Communications, APTN
(438) 349-2456
[email protected]